It had been getting better.

She’d been talking to the healers. The priests had been teaching her. Things seemed a little brighter, a little more confident. She could see darkness, still, hovering as ever on the edges of her mind but despite the fear, there was light beyond those clouds, and as frightening as it was she was almost starting to feel like maybe she could reach past the shade and see what lay beyond.

But then something changed.

Mama was gone longer then usual these days. When she did return she was different.

Ygraine could feel something retreating. Off balance. Fear began to creep up in her. The little girl that had been slowly moving from the shadows retreated again, and the fears and the whispers returned. The priests spoke about eggshells, murmuring about her nature. Fragile. And she paced, dreams filled with red, the terror of the old days returning. Memories of what had passed. Storm clouds kept growing, driving her back, wrapped in the safety of the old ways. They were terrible, yes, but this madness was an odd comfort, a place she knew. Could navigate. She knew this, and what kept pressing down, and down, blacker then what was before, was too much to face. 

Dreams. Madness. Fear. Laughter.

She would rock in front of the fire, staring. The priests worried they would have to sedate her. Every day a little bit more unravelled, and on the worse of them she would shriek, cry, laugh, run through the temple. An altar burst into flame. Didn’t stop till a gigantic, gentle cleric, another draenei, grasped her in his arms, soothing her until she went limp against him, sobbing and crying and muttering about men in red robes. 

Other times, she would quietly sit, rocking, staring into the flames. The little one, desperate and afraid, and if she was just very quiet and very still *they* wouldn’t find her.

Around the temple there were other whispers. Other fears. Many of them spoke of something beyond what had come before. Before the demons. Older, and dangerous. Ygraine was not the only one inflicted with madness, others too seemed to be spiralling. She wanted to join them. To just…give in. She was so tired of it all, and after the wildness and all of it, it was tempting to do so and lose herself completely. To not have to worry and let go.

*It will be so easy, child…*

*She did this to you. Innocence stolen. Your madness is her creation. You are ready…*

Ygraine sobbed. The whispers burrowed deep, exposing all the secret throughts and fears that she could not acknowledge. 

She hadn’t forgiven Mama. Not really. 

She remembered the death knight stalking through the abbey grounds. She remembered the screaming and the blood and the body…parts. She remembered things dripping on her as she hid in the cellar, frozen in shock. 

When she met with Mama…Aunne…the death knight, fear had turned into an odd sort of love. If was close she was safe. And that love had grown, seeing the madness Mama herself suffered from. The war that was in her. Even so… Mama had hurt her. It was Mama’s fault, and she was still afraid. Love and fear. 

Mama was *sad*. More then sad. Sorrowed. 

Ygraine looked deeper into the flame, weeping quietly as she stared. She could feel it. Mama hurt very, very much. The pain cut through the madness, drawing the now angry shadows back. They reached, scored the core of her, but something else was there too. 

Mama was in pain.

It hit her like the force of all heaven. Hisses and shrieks and screams as the overpowering madness flickered away and Ygraine curled up on the floor before the fire, writhing and crying. Sobbing. Mama tried. Mama was sorry. Mama had suffered so, so much. It hadn’t really been her that day. And the Light saw, and knew. Ygraine *knew*. 

“Mama…!”

Author Wallaroo
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